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Old 11-25-2007, 01:25 AM
Mason Malmuth Mason Malmuth is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Nevada
Posts: 5,654
Default Re: Review, Advanced Limit Holdem Strategy (Tanenbaum)

Barry argues that the Illusion of Action keeps the payoffs coming your way.

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I haven't read the book (even though I have a copy sitting on my desk and hope to get to it soon), but this concerns me. It has always been my belief that an illusion or action, or just a loose image, is precisely the way you don't want to play limit hold 'em. I have written extensively about this before -- see my Poker Essays books.

However, that's not exactly my concern. I've seen some stuff recently where the author (not Tanebaum) advocates an illusion of action but then proceeds to give many plays that are predicated on a tight image. So when you write:

By far, the most important discussion in the concepts section is what Barry calls The Illusion of Action, which basically means playing in a way that makes you look like a “crazy” action player, when in fact, you’re really playing solid selective-aggressive poker.

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I can't help but think the book is going this way. In the higher limits, especially if the game is short handed, you need to make all sorts of semi-bluffing type plays and plays that your opponent fears. This is not compatible with the illusion of action.

However, I'm not saying that creating a loose image is definitely wrong, even though I believe it is. But what I am saying is that if you go ahead and create a loose image, you then need to use an appropriate strategy consistent with that image. This would include much less semi-bluffing, value betting very weak hands, and going for extra bets and raises with hands that don't normally deserve this. Notice that is different from [ QUOTE ]
playing solid selective-aggressive poker.

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Anyway, when I do finally get to read this book, I'll make sure to address this topic.

Best wishes,
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